MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida’s Poet Laureate Edmund Skellings, 80, passed away peacefully in his West Melbourne home on Aug. 19, survived by his wife Louise, a retired professor.
Skellings retired from Florida Institute of Technology last April, where he was professor of humanities in the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts. Skellings taught at the university since early 2008.
“We are very saddened to learn of Dr. Skellings’ passing,” said Florida Tech President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony J. Catanese. “We were honored to have him on our campus. He was a great creative talent whose work exemplified our Florida Tech slogan, ‘High Tech with a Human Touch.’”
Skellings was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. He was selected from among more than 400 other Florida poets to earn the title of Poet Laureate in 1980. Appointed to the lifetime honor by former Gov. Robert Graham, he authored seven books of poems. His most recent was Collected Poems 1958-1998, published by the University Press of Florida.
He was the recipient of numerous state, national and international awards. Among them were the 25th Anniversary Award for Video Art, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2004, for “Senior Citizen;” the Crystal Award of Excellence, Videographer Award, 2002, for “Word Songs;” a National Video Festival Award, 1994, for “SuperPoems;” and a Joey Award of Excellence, 1995, for “Nearing the Millennium.”
No final arrangements have been announced. The Skellings archives reside at Florida Tech and are accessible online at http://research.fit.edu/edmundskellings.